Quick question (from an introvert’s perspective)…

Quick question? Have you ever asked an introvert a “quick question?” Did you see the immediate fear and shock in their eyes or did they hide it well? (Because it was there either way). It’s one of the things I used to think was wrong with me… I don’t like to be put on the spot. I don’t like spontaneous questions. The more I learned about introverts and about myself, the more I realized I’m not alone. “Why is it a big deal?” (You may ask if you are not introverted). Because we like to be prepared. We like to give accurate, thoughtful answers. We like to research and investigate and plan and prepare our answers. Sometimes we go too far, I know I do. We keep searching for the perfect answer. We like to be experts, knowledgeable and sound intelligent, and we certainly don’t want to be wrong.

I can probably recount some of these “on the spot” quick questions and my fumbling, unintelligent or snappy response. Why? Why would I remember those things? I’m not alone. Several people do this. We replay the conversation over and over and over… thinking of the perfect thing we should have said. On a few occasions, I became aware of my frustration and asked if I could email a response later. On a few occasions also, the person asking didn’t leave. They just sat on my desk and waited for me to give my answers.

Aloof, cool, disinterested, snobby, snappy, uninvolved, alone… common adjectives for introverts. We like to process things internally. We take too long to come up with an answer. We cringe when the phone rings if it’s something that could be communicated with an email. Yet, we will talk for hours to the people we feel safe with … the people who get us. Many of us like animals because they unconditionally love us. (And they never question us) I’ve been in training meetings where they said we need to adapt to the other person’s preference, but what that does is make us very uncomfortable. It makes us want to withdraw and retreat.

I don’t have a solution to this, because I don’t need to fix introverts. If you are one, you are still enough. You are always enough. Even when someone else thinks you don’t fit in, that’s ok. There is nothing wrong with you. You don’t need to conform to the mainstream. I’ve been coached to be something other than me, and I think it’s not necessary. I’m ok as I am. You are too. Introvert or not.

I wish you peace on your journey of enough. If someone asks you a quick question, just take a deep breath. You’ll be ok. If you’re the one asking and you get a “deer in the headlights” look, just give them a minute. They just want to give you a good answer.